Modern Treaties and Land Claims: The Ethical Dimension and Continuity and Change I ndigenous peoples from coast to coast to coast have been deeply committed to both land claims and the conservation of natural resources. The process of (re)claiming self- government is complex, and the goals of dierent groups have varied widely. Examining the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action T he Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) was ocially launched in 2008 as part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. Intended to be a process that would guide Canadians through the dicult discovery of the facts behind the Residential School system, the TRC was also meant to lay the foundation for lasting reconciliation across Canada. Published in 2015, the final report, Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future , documents the experiences of approximately 150,000 Canadian Residential School students. 8 Begin by reading the Truth and Reconciliation Commission entry on The Canadian Encyclopedia . Working in small groups, read the Education components of the 94 Calls to Action (Calls 6-12 and 62-65) in the Final Report of the TR C and summarize the recommendations. • As a group, discuss: What is being done at your school to fulfill these calls? What are the best ways your school can improve? • Individually, write your own “Call to Action,” exploring connections between past and present, and proposing a way forward. Include five practical tips so students from across Canada can contribute to the task of healing and reconciliation. Conduct a case study of a modern treaty or a Comprehensive Land Claim agreement. Visit The Canadian Encyclopedia to choose your case study and begin your research. In the “Treaties” category on the Indigenous Peoples Collection , read Comprehensive Land Claims: Modern Treaties , as well as the “Modern Treaties, 1975-Present” section in Treaties with Indigenous Peoples in Canada . In small groups, answer the following questions: • When and where was the treaty signed? • What is the historical context of the treaty? What was happening at the time? What were the motivating factors for the various groups involved? What were the goals of the government? What were the goals of Indigenous signatories? You may have to do further research. • What were the key terms of the treaty? • What were the direct consequences for the dierent parties involved in the treaty signing? This activity mirrors Activity 8. Have your class consider the ethical dimension of the treaty-making process, terms, and results. You may even have your students compare and contrast modern treaties with historic ones. The Duty to Consult In Canada, the federal government has a legal and moral obligation to consult with Indigenous peoples when it contemplates actions or decisions that may aect treaty or established rights. The protection of Aboriginal and treaty rights is enshrined under section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 . 16 Abawaadiziwin, the art of being together by Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley, 2016 (courtesy Indigenous Arts & Stories and Historica Canada). 8 The Canadian Encyclopedia , “Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” http:/ www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/truth-and-reconciliation-commission/ Have students use the 5Ws Reading Comprehension Chart: Modern Treaties and Land Claims on the Education Portal and assign reading partners. Print out the relevant Calls to Action and ask students to highlight the key words in each. Ask students to work in pairs and present their own “Call to Action” orally to the class. Discuss the ethical dimension: » Do you think the agreement is fair? » Was it signed under fair circumstances? Why or why not? » To what degree does it protect Indigenous rights to land, resources and self-government? » To what degree has the duty to consult been fulfilled in this case?